The fine art of losing at poker
If you fly over Scottsdale, Arizona, and look down at the vast brown desert, here and there you see little ribbons of green fairways, with…
Don't even try to close the holes in a country, and a society, designed to be porous
Despite seeing on television news what used to be confined to action movies, audiences have been flocking to them, perhaps eager for the illusion of control they offer
Every American war has changed our society in ways that were not anticipated. What will be the consequences of the latest war?
To Western ears, the author writes, the public utterances of Osama Bin Laden have always come across like the "tirades of a loony idealogue." But these skillful rhetorical constructions, rich in historical allusion, have enormous powers of penetration—and will survive their author
Nuns are an endangered species. With a median age in this country of sixty-nine, and little new blood coming in, their numbers have dwindled markedly. The novelist and memoirist Mary Gordon, who herself once contemplated joining an order, examines this disappearing way of life, talks to survivors here and abroad, and wonders what, if anything, can replace the iconic figure of the nun in the popular imagination of Catholics and non-Catholics alike
Only an artificer of the highest skill could have produced so seamless an illusion of reality
Gathering "good intelligence" against terrorists is an inherently brutish enterprise, involving methods a civics class might not condone. Should we care?
September 11 demonstrated the great strength of the Internet. Now it's time to address the Internet's weaknesses
I haven't checked, but I would bet that the release of the first Harry Potter movie, last November, was declared by someone to be epochal. Epochal…
Restaurants worth building a trip around
Cruising isn't the only way to see this unique archipelago
A short story
Peace Is Hell My only disappointment with William Langewiesche's otherwise excellent article "Peace Is Hell" (October Atlantic) is that he did not…
By all standards of the modern world—economic development, literacy, scientific achievement—Muslim civilization, once a mighty enterprise, has fallen low. Many in the Middle East blame a variety of outside forces. But underlying much of the Muslim world's travail may be a simple lack of freedom
The quest for the Holy Grail of equivalence
Illusions. Affectation. Lies. This is the insidious and incapacitating legacy of modern dating books
When Godzilla gets the willies
Many of our most important judgments are relative. As Samuel Johnson said, "Of the first building that was raised, it might be with certainty…
In October I got an e-mail from a historian I know who teaches at a college in the Northeast. She was gloomy about the terrorist attacks and anxious…
In the spring of last year my parents sold the house in which I grew up and were cleaning it out when they came across a cardboard box in the…
The power lies with one hamburger vendor
What exactly is a botanical garden for?
Jan Karon lets her readers pull the covers over their heads
S. Smith, of Alameda, California, writes, "When I was a student teacher in a middle school, my master teacher's pet peeve was the popular use (or…
The recent election of the party's new leader is the surprising result of four decades of reform
A chance discovery leads the author to the champion-for-life of a forgotten sport
Osama bin Laden's mindset; two extraordinary novels; the peaceful collapse of "The Evil Empire"
For more than fifty years American foreign policy has sought to prevent the emergence of other great powers—a strategy that has proved burdensome, futile, and increasingly risky. The United States will be more secure, and the world more stable, if America now chooses to pass the buck and allow other countries to take care of themselves
The Russian public has come out against supporting the West in its war against terrorism. The West need not be concerned